Showing posts with label Dexter Bullard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dexter Bullard. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Shows On Our Radar: Mies Julie at Victory Gardens Theater Through June 24th

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Victory Gardens Theater concludes 43rd Season with
Mies Julie
By Yaël Farber
Directed by Dexter Bullard
Adapted from August Strindberg’s Miss Julie

**Mies Julie is recommended for mature audiences, ages 18+**

May 25 – June 24, 2018

Victory Gardens Theater concludes its 43rd season with Mies Julie, written by Yaël Farber, directed by Dexter Bullard, and adapted from August Strindberg’s Miss Julie. Mies Julie runs May 25 – June 24, 2018

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we've seen many versions of Strindberg's Miss Julie over the years, yet none quite like this. I'm eager to check out Victory Gardens' take on Yaël Farber’s modern, post apartheid South Africa based adaptation.

Set in a remote South African desert, playwright Yaël Farber’s award-winning adaptation of August Strindberg's classic Miss Julie has never "raged quite so fiercely," (The Guardian).  It is Freedom Day, 18 years after the end of apartheid. A farm laborer John encounters his white Afrikaans master's daughter, Julie, on a feverish night fueled by heat, primal passion, and generation-deep resentment.  The visceral struggles of contemporary South African society are revealed as a deadly attraction spirals violently out of control. 

“We are very excited to bring you Yaël Farber’s internationally acclaimed play to Chicago,” said Artistic Director Chay Yew. “Raw, powerful, and passionate, Yaël's breathtaking adaptation of Strindberg's classic Miss Julie adds a new political dimension to the classic and fleshes out more fully the contemporary issues of race and power, and gender and power through the lens of post-apartheid South Africa. It’s a complex dance that so many of us walk on a day-to-day basis, and Yaël's exploration of this duality is relentless. With heated language and stark dialogue, we are forced to see ourselves reflected in the circumstances surrounding Mies Julie in unexpected ways.”

The cast of Mies Julie includes Tosha 'Ayo' Alston (Ukhokho), Heather Chrisler (Mies Julie), Jalen Gilbert (John) and Celeste Williams (Christine).

The creative team includes Kurtis Boetcher (scenic design), Raquel Adorno (costume design), Diane B. Fairchild (lighting design), Stephen Ptacek (sound design) and Eleanor Kahn (props). For this production of Mies Julie Phillip Timberlake serves as the dialect coach and Kristina Fluty is the intimacy and violence choreographer. Carol Ann Tan is the assistant director, Jessica Forella is the production stage manager and Skyler Gray is the dramaturg.

About the Artists
DEXTER BULLARD (Director) is happy to be back at Victory Gardens after directing Roy WIlliams' Sucker Punch and Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation. Recent credits include Tracy Letts’ Linda Vista and Annie Baker’s The Flick at Steppenwolf,  Craig Wright's Grace on Broadway, the world premiere of Dan LeFranc's The Big Meal at American Theatre Company, Odradek at The HOUSE Theatre, Mistakes Were Made at Barrow Street Theater Off-Broadway and with A Red Orchid Theatre, Reverie with Second City at The Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, Lady at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre Off-Broadway, and Gas for Less at the Goodman Theatre. In 2004, Dexter was awarded the Lucille Lortel Award for Tracy Letts’ Bug at The Barrow Street Theater, as well as a Drama Desk Nomination. In 1995 Dexter co–founded Plasticene, a physical theater company whose critically–acclaimed experimental works were featured at The Steppenwolf Studio, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Storefront Theatre, Performing Arts Chicago, MCA, and in New York City. With the Plasticene company, he directed and collaboratively created sixteen original works over seventeen years including The Palmer Raids (2003.) Since 1996, Dexter has directed with The Second City, leading a National Touring Company and developing satirical revues at E.T.C. and at Second City Detroit. Back in 1990, Dexter founded The Next Lab at The Next Theatre where he directed Bouncers, for which he received a Jefferson Citation and an After Dark award for his direction. At Next Theatre, he directed and/or created eight shows for mainstage and Lab as well as producing the world premiere of Tracy Letts’ Killer Joe. He has also directed projects for Famous Door Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Links Hall, and several times for A Red Orchid Theatre. Dexter received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern, his MFA in Performance from School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is the Head of Graduate Acting at The Theatre School at DePaul University.

YAËL FARBER (Playwright) is a multiple award-winning director and playwright of international acclaim. Her productions have toured the world extensively - earning her a reputation for hard-hitting, controversial works of the highest artistic standard. She has most recently directed a highly acclaimed production of Loraine Hansberry’s unfinished final work Les Blancs for the National Theatre in London. Her recent production of Salomé (written and directed by Farber) for Washington’s Shakespeare Theater Company was received powerfully by the press, was nominated for 10 and won 7 Helen Hayes Awards - including Best Director and Best Play 2015. Her award-winning production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible for the Old Vic at London’s West End garnered ten 5-star reviews from UK’s top publications, and a rave review from The New York Times. The production earned her a London Evening Standard nomination and an Olivier Nomination, and is one of the most successful productions in The Old Vic’s illustrious history. A film of the production, captured by Digital Theatre, sold out in theatres for limited runs around the world. Nirbhaya (directed and written by Farber in India 2013) earned exceptional reviews and three international awards at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival. Mies Julie (written and directed by Farber) won a string of international awards at the Edinburgh Festival 2012 and was named one of the Top Ten Productions of 2012 by The New York Times, and Top Five Productions of 2012 by The Guardian. A selection of her awards include: BroadwayWorld Best Director (2014); Asian Media Award (2014); The Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award (2013); Best of Edinburgh Award (2012); Scotsman Fringe First Awards (2000, 2012, 2013); Herald Angel Awards (2003, 2012, 2013); South Africa’s Fleur du Cap (2012), Vita (1991) and Naledi Awards (2002, 2008, 2013); Boston’s Elliot Norton Award (2013); Canada’s Dora Mavor Moore Award (2014) and a BBC Sony Award (2001). She was named Artist of the Year in her native South Africa (2003). Ms. Farber was named amongst the top 100 South Africans by Citypress in 2013. Her plays are published by Oberon Books (London, UK). Her productions have toured across the major cities of the USA, the UK, Africa, Canada, Australia, Japan, Europe, India, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Hong Kong. She has been an invitee at the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab (NYC), a guest artist at Mabou Mines Theatre Company (NYC), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), The Public Theater (NYC) and the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab (Utah). She served as Head of the Directing Program at the National Theatre School of Canada between 2009 and 2012. Ms. Farber was named amongst the top 100 South Africans by Citypress in 2013. Her plays are published by OBERON BOOKS (London, UK).

TOSHA 'AYO' ALSTON (Ukhokho) is a quintessential Brooklynite and was raised in a family of highly skilled artists and musicians. Ayo served as Dance Captain for Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago. In 2009, Ayo birthed Ayodele Drum and Dance; a teaching organization created for women to affirm their self-confidence and strength in our communities. Ayodele personalizes African music and dance in order to effectively infuse our children with cultural wealth. Ayohas and continues to share her growing knowledge of traditional and contemporary African and African diaspora dance and music forms across the country. She is a level 1 ASA fitness instructor. Ayo currently teaches at Columbia College at Chicago and Chicago High School for the Arts.

HEATHER CHRISLER (Mies Julie) makes her Victory Gardens debut. Chicago credits include Twilight Bowl (Goodman, New Stages), Machinal (Greenhouse Theatre Center, Chris Jones' Top Ten Performances of 2017), Mary's Wedding, Captain Blood, The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe (First Folio Theatre), Her Majesty's Will (Lifeline Theatre), good friday (Oracle Productions, Jeff Award Nomination Best Ensemble), and All's Well That Ends Well (Stage Left). Regional credits include Dancing Lessons (Riverside Theatre), Romeo and Juliet, Tempest (Door Shakespeare), Christmas Carol, The Three Musketeers (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Much Ado About Nothing, and Blithe Spirit (Monomoy Theatre). She has appeared on TV in Chicago P.D. and holds a MFA from Ohio University.

JALEN GILBERT (John) has appeared in Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea (First Floor Theater), Paradise Blue (Timeline Theatre (u/s), and East Texas Hot Links (Writers Theatre(u/s). His Film & TV credits include The Exorcist, Medicine, and Solo.

CELESTE WILLIAMS (Christine) has previously appeared at Victory Gardens in Tree, Knock Me a Kiss, Emma’s Child, and Pecong. Other theatre credits include Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Writers’ Theatre, Court Theatre, Next Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and Clarence Brown Theatre. Film and TV credits include Rose White, Boss, and Empire.

Full Performance Schedule
Previews for Mies Julie are May 25 – 31, 2018. Previews are $15-$45. The Press opening is Friday, June 1 at 7:30pm. Regular performances run June 2 – 24, 2018: Tuesday – Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 3pm and 7:30pm; Sunday at 3pm.  Regular performances are $15-$60.

Victory Gardens has partnered with mobile theater ticketing app TodayTix to offer free tickets for the first preview of Mies Julie. Free Tickets will be available via TodayTix mobile lottery, launching one week before the first preview on Friday, May 18, 2018. Winners will be notified by email and push notification between 12:00pm and 3:00pm on the day of the first preview, Friday, May 25, 2018. To enter, download the TodayTix app on your iOS or Android device.

Accessible Performance Schedule
ASL Interpreted Performance: Friday, June 8 at 7:30pm

Word for Word (open captioning): Friday, June 8 at 7:30pm, Saturday, June 9 at 3:00pm, and Wednesday, June 13 at 2:00pm
Audio Description/Touch Tour: Friday, June 8 at 7:30pm (Touch tour at 6:00pm), Sunday, June 17 at 3:00pm (Touch tour at 1:30pm)

Performances are at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000, email, or visit Ask the Box Office about student tickets ($15), senior, and Access. For group discounts, call 872.817.9087.

Previews: May 25 – 31, 2018
Press opening:            Friday, June 1, 2018 at 7:30pm
Regular run:                June 2 – 24, 2018

Schedule:                     Tuesdays - Fridays:     7:30pm
Saturdays:                    3:00pm; 7:30pm
Sundays:                      3:00pm

Accessible Performances: Word for Word (open captioning): Friday, June 8 at 7:30pm,
Saturday, June 9 at 3:00pm, and Wednesday, June 13 at 2:00pm

ASL Interpreted: Friday, June 8 at 7:30pm

Audio Description/Touch Tour: Friday, June 8 at 7:30pm (Touch tour at 6:00pm), Sunday, June 17 at 3:00pm (Touch tour at 1:30pm)

Location:                     Victory Gardens Theater is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue,
in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood

Tickets:                        Previews:          $15 - $45
Regular run:     $15 - $60

Box Office:                   The Box Office is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.

2017/18 Women’s 
Series Major 
Production Sponsors:              Janice Miller

2017/18 Women’s 
Series Production 
Sponsors:                                Doris Conant; Marcelle McVay and Dennis Zacek; Jeffrey
Rappin and Penny Brown; Jane M Saks, Nathan Cummings Foundation; and Bill and Orli Staley Foundation

            Production Sponsors:              Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and Virginia and Gary Gerst 

Playwright’s Society Sponsors: Bruce and Jacki Barron, David and Virginia Glasner, and Golden Country Oriental Food LLC

Major Season Support:            Allstate, Alphawood Foundation, David Rockefeller Fund, Doris Duke Charitable Trust, Exelon, Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Paul M Angell Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Prince Charitable Trust, The REAM Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Time Warner Foundation  Inc., and The Wallace Foundation

Travel Sponsor:                       Southwest Airlines

About Victory Gardens Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals.  Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis Začek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.  

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Začek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwrights include Luis Alfaro, Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Ike Holter, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Tanya Saracho and Laura Schellhardt. Each playwright has a seven-year residency at Victory Gardens Theater.

For more information about Victory Gardens, visit  Follow us on Facebook at, Twitter @VictoryGardens and Instagram at

Victory Gardens Theater receives sustaining support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The REAM Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, and Wallace Foundation. It receives major funding from Crown Family Philanthropies, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, and Polk Bros. Foundation. Major funders also include:Allstate Insurance, Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Edgerton Foundation, Exelon, Field Foundation of Illinois, Illinois Arts Council Agency, David Rockefeller Fund, Bill and Orli Staley Foundation, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Time Warner Foundation Inc., Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Additional funding this season is provided by: Alliance Bernstein, Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Capital Group Private Client Services, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Chicago Foundation for Women, ComEd, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Golden Country Oriental Foods, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, ITW, JCCC Foundation, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, Metropolitan Capital Bank & Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, Negaunee Foundation, Roberta Olshansky Charitable Fund, Origin Ventures, Pauls Foundation, PNC Financial Services Group, Prince Charitable Trusts, Seabury Foundation, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Wrightwood Neighbors Association. In-kind support is provided by:  Dimo’s Pizza, Fiesta Mexicana, Italian Village Restaurants, Southwest Airlines, Roy’s Furniture, Suite Home Chicago, and Whole Foods Market. This project is partially supported by an Incent Ovate Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

OPENING: Tracy Letts World Premiere Linda Vista at Steppenwolf 3/30-5/21

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

MARCH 30 - MAY 21, 2017


Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents the world premiere production of Linda Vista by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright and ensemble member Tracy Letts and directed by Dexter Bullard. A hilarious and complex exploration of a modern misanthrope, the cast features ensemble members Ian Barford (Wheeler), Tim Hopper (Paul), Sally Murphy (Margaret) and Caroline Neff (Anita) with Kahyun Kim (Minnie), Cora Vander Broek (Jules) and Troy West (Michael). This is the fifth world premiere production by Tracy Letts that Steppenwolf has produced.

Linda Vista begins previews March 30, 2017 and the production runs through May 21, 2017 in the Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St. Press performances are Saturday, April 8 at 3pm and Tuesday, April 11 at 7:30pm; opening night is Sunday, April 9. 

Wheeler is 50. His marriage is over, his job is mundane, and the best years of his life appear to be behind him. A move from the cot in his ex-wife’s garage to his own apartment opens up new possibilities for love and sex—complicated, painful and hilarious. Full of opinions, yet short on self-examination, Wheeler is a modern misanthrope who must reconcile the man he has become with the man he wants to be.

Tracy Letts (Playwright) is a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright, actor and member of the Steppenwolf ensemble. He is the author of the plays Linda Vista, Mary Page Marlowe, The Scavenger’s Daughter, Superior DonutsAugust: Osage County (Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award), Man from Nebraska (Pulitzer Prize finalist), Bug and Killer Joe.  Also an actor, he has appeared on Broadway in Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses and Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role).  Film appearances include Lady Bird, The Lovers, Christine, Imperium, Indignation, Wiener-dog, Elvis and Nixon, The Big Short.  TV:  “Divorce" (HBO), two seasons as Sen. Lockhart on “Homeland” (Showtime), “Seinfeld."  His appearances at Steppenwolf include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, American Buffalo, Betrayal, Homebody/Kabul, The Dresser, The Dazzle, Glengarry Glen Ross, Three Days of Rain, many others.

Dexter Bullard (Director) has strong ties with Steppenwolf, having directed Annie Baker’s The Flick last season to critical acclaim. He directed ensemble member Tracy Letts’s Bug at the Barrow Street Theater, for which he received the 2004 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Direction Off-Broadway. He has directed for Steppenwolf’s First Look Repertory of New Work in 2006 and 2013. Additional directing credits Craig Wright's Grace on Broadway, Roy Williams' Sucker Punch and Annie Baker's Circle Mirror
Transformation at Victory Gardens. He is the head of Graduate Acting and Showcase Artistic Director with The Theatre School at DePaul University.

The Linda Vista production team includes Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Laura Bauer (costume design), Marcus Doshi (lighting design), Richard Woodbury (sound design) and Gigi Buffington (Company Vocal Coach). Additional credits include Malcolm Ewen (stage manager), Cassie Calderone (assistant stage manager), JC Clementz (casting director), Nicole Arbusto (Los Angeles casting) and Aaron Carter (artistic producer).

Accessible Performances: American Sign Language Interpretation: Sunday, April 30 at 7:30pmOpen Captioning: Saturday, May 20 at 3pm; Audio Description and Touch Tour: Sunday, May 21 at 1:30pm

Curtain Times: Tuesday – Friday at 7:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm and 7:30pm
Ticket prices: Previews: $20 – $54, Regular Run: $20 – $89. Prices subject to change
20 for $20: Twenty $20 tickets are available for subscription shows on the day of the performance at 11am (Mon – Sat) and 1pm (Sun), by phone only at 312-335-1650. Limit 2 per person. Rush Tickets: Half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show. Student Discounts: Limited $15 student tickets are available online. (Limit 2 tickets. Must present a valid student ID for each ticket). For additional student discounts, visit

Group Tickets: All groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance. 

Black Card Memberships are for audiences interested in extreme flexibility. Cards include six tickets for use any time, for any production including the LookOut Series. The tickets are valid for one year with the option to add additional tickets as needed. Perks include easy and free exchanges, access to seats before the general public, savings on single ticket prices and bar and restaurant discounts for pre- and post-show socializing. More info at

Audience Services: For tickets or more information, contact Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St) at 312-335-1650 or

Visitor Information & Accessibility
Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. The parking facility consists of both a covered garage ($11 cash or card) and an open-air lot, located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ($14 cash) is available directly in front of the main entrance at 1650 N Halsted St starting at 5pm on weeknights, 1pm on weekends and at 12 noon before Wednesday matinees. Street and lot parking are also available. For last minute questions and concerns, patrons can call the Steppenwolf Parking Hotline at (312) 335-1774. Committed to making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language interpretation, open captioning and audio description are offered during the run of each play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance. With the expertise of Assistive Hearing Systems Ltd., Steppenwolf installed an induction loop on both the main and balcony levels of our Downstairs Theatre in 2015. There is also an induction loop installed in the 1700 Theatre.

Sponsor Information
Major Support for Linda Vista is provided by ComEd, Ameriprise Financial and The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.
Major support for Steppenwolf’s New Play Development Initiative is provided by The Davee Foundation and the Zell Family Foundation.
United Airlines is the Official and Exclusive Airline of Steppenwolf.

Steppenwolf’s 2016/17 Season opened with the world premiere of Visiting Edna by David Rabe, directed by Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro (ended November 6), followed by the world premiere of Erika Sheffer’s The Fundamentals (ended December 31, 2016). Playing now is the Chicago premiere of The Christians by Lucas Hnath, directed by ensemble member K. Todd Freeman (now – January 29, 2017); next up is the Chicago premiere of Straight White Men, written and directed by Young Jean Lee (February 2 – March 19, 2017); the world premiere of Linda Vista by ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by Dexter Bullard (March 30 – May 21, 2017); and the Chicago premiere of Hir by Taylor Mac, directed by Hallie Gordon (June 29 – August 20, 2017); and an additional summer show, Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu (June 1 – July 9, 2017).

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater—redefining the landscape of acting and performance. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble has grown to 47 members who represent a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards—have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programing includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi-genre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 14,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs for arts administration training. Steppenwolf’s own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks serves coffee, cocktails and a menu curated in partnership with the Boka Restaurant Group day and night. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. 

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